Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/23/2013 -- In a controversial move, the US Senate Judicial Committee finalized its deliberation on
S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act and arrived at a 13-5 vote that clears the bill for a Senate debate expected to begin early next month.
If passed, two of the most important elements of the historic legislation are:
- It will provide the opportunity of US citizenship to millions living in the USA illegally.
- It will increase in the visa program for high-tech workers.
“Translationz applauds the courage of this Committee. While there is some way to go before it becomes law, the undocumented immigrants in the US have contributed greatly to our country. By creating a path to citizenship for approximately 11 million who are illegally in the nation, we are validating them as individuals as well as their social, cultural and economic value to our country.” said Karen Hodgson, CEO of Translationz.
To be eligible, applicants must have arrived in the US before 31 December 2011 and maintained continuous physical presence and must meet certain character requirements such as no felony convictions or less than three misdemeanours. If successful, applicants could be granted "registered provisional immigrant status" that would be valid for six years. The costs associated with the whole process would include at least $500 fine.
The vote of 13-5 was bipartisan. This means that the legislation has the best chance of becoming law since 2007 when related measures were shelved due to lack of support. Republicans have changed their position on immigration reform after Hispanic voter backlash in the 2012 election. President Obama also is making positive comments saying it was largely consistent with fixing the broken immigration system.
The legislation also addressed the areas of skilled worker immigration. Highly skilled workers would be permitted to come to the US at far higher levels than today. The yearly admissions of highly skilled workers would jump from 65,000 to 110,000 per annum and potentially as high as 180,000 depending on the level of unemployment.
There will be some checks and balances in the skilled immigration numbers. Companies where foreign labour accounts for more than 15% of the skilled work force would be subjected to additional scrutiny. This is a win for common sense.